Sony Pictures Entertainment has a Christmas gift of it’s own for film fans. Business Insider is reporting that Sony didn’t cancel the release of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s controversial new film The Interview — they merely delayed it.
The latest bombshell was dropped during the Sunday morning political new program Meet the Press. David Boies, a lawyer representing Sony Pictures Entertainment, clarified the company’s position on Meet the Press by saying, “Sony only delayed this. Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed. How it’s going to be distributed I don’t think anyone knows quite yet.”
The statement comes after Sony Pictures Entertainment has faced increased scrutiny both for the decision not to release The Interview on Christmas Day as originally planned, and for the decision to green light the production of such a potentially controversial geopolitical film at all. The criticism of the decision to pull the plug on the comedy came from the highest office in the United States.
During his final press conference of 2014, President Barack Obama expressed displeasure at Sony Pictures Entertainment’s decision not to go ahead with the release of The Interview. Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton insisted that the company did contact the White House about the controversy, spurned by a hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment computer systems and threats made against theaters who planned to show the film.
Lyton also pointed out that Sony Entertainment only cancelled the release of The Interview after every major theater chain in the United States had refused to show the film, citing concerns of acts of terrorism. In his final sit down interview on CNN of the year, President Obama elaborated on his position.
“I was pretty sympathetic to the fact that they’ve got business considerations they’ve got to make. And, you know, had they talked to me directly about this decision, I might have called the movie theater chains and distributors and asked them what that story was.”
While Sony originally said that The Interview would never see release, not even on video on demand services or home release channels, Boies’ statement suggests the company may have had a change of heart. It’s worth noting that the statements are part of an obvious media blitz being done by Sony, after they faced heavy criticism from citizens, politicians, and Hollywood heavyweights such as George Clooney and Sean Penn for canceling the release of The Interview.
Deadline reports that Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton still wanted to release The Interview, but said the studio doesn’t have “any takers, neither on the video demand side nor on the e-commerce side.”
If Lynton’s statements are true, the company is committed to making a profit off of The Interview. Forbes pointed out that if the popular internet pirate website The Pirate Bay had not been raided and taken down a few weeks before the cancellation of The Interview, it would provide an easy way to distribute the film, albeit for free.
“This is bigger than this film at this point,” Mason told Deadline. “As a company, we feel we have no choice but to help Sony Pictures and defend these principles.”
BitTorrent already has a service that allows artists and musicians to distribute their content to users for a fee.